Fluctuating magnetic moments in liquid metals
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We reanalyze literature data on neutron scattering by liquid metals and show that there is an additional broad (in energy) quasielastic mode present that is absent in x-ray scattering. This mode cannot be accounted for by the standard coherent and incoherent scattering mechanisms. We argue that this mode indicates that nonmagnetic liquid metals possess a magnetic moment which fluctuates on a picosecond time scale. This time scale is the same as the time scale of the cage-diffusion process in which an ion rattles around in the cage formed by its neighbors. We find that these fluctuating magnetic moments are present in liquid Hg, Al, Ga, and Pb and possibly also in the alkali metals.
Phys. Rev. E 73, 021202 (2006) [8 pages]